At the invitation of His Eminence, Archbishop Leo of Karelia and All Finland, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, began an official visit to the Church of Finland on Monday, February 22, 2016. Members of the Orthodox Church in America delegation include His Eminence, Archbishop Melchisedek of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania; Archpriest John Jillions, OCA Chancellor; Archdeacon Joseph Matusiak, Secretary to Metropolitan Tikhon; Dr. Paul Meyendorff, the Father Alexander Schmemann Professor of Liturgical Theology and Director of Continuing Education at Saint Vladimir’s Seminary, Yonkers, NY; and Subdeacon Jeremy Pletnikoff.
On Thursday, the 5th/8th of February 2016, a group of twenty priests from the Anglican Church in Jerusalem, headed by the Anglican Archbishop, the Most Reverend Souheil Dawani, and Dean Husam, visited the Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
Moscow masters have restored a kokoshnik worn by Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna. The museum acquired the item in 2014 from a private collection, and is now in the collection of the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Preserve. The kokoshnik will be put on permanent display in the Alexander Palace, after the restoration of the palace-museum is complete in July 2018.
The kokoshnik was originally commissioned to mark the 300th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty in 1913. It was made in the Nicholas Starotorzhsky Monastery in Kostroma. The kokoshnik is made in a traditional style in the shape of a crown, covered with peach velvet. It is embroidered with silk and silver threads, decorated with semiprecious stones and mother of pearl.
On Monday, the 2nd/15th of February 2016, the Patriarchate commemorated the “Hypapante of the Lord at the Temple of Solomon” at the Monastic Church of Sts Constantine and Helen, His Beatitude Theophilos, Patriarch of Jerusalem, officiating. The feast was also observed at the Monastery of Panagia Seida Naya, to the northwest of the Church of the Resurrection, in the Christian quarter.
On Friday, the 30th of January/12th of February 2016, the Patriarchate celebrated the school feast of the three Hierarchs at the Patriarchal Hieratical School of the Holy Sion.
In memory of these three great Fathers of the Church, protectors of Education, “the three most great luminaries of the three-sun divinity” and ecumenical teachers, Vespers and the divine Liturgy were led by the Elder Sacristan and Chairman of the School Board, Archbishop Isidoros of Hierapolis. Hagiotaphite Archimandrites Makarios and Kallistos and Hierodeacon Anastasios co-officiated as students from the School sang in the presence of teachers, nuns, members of the Greek parish and pious pilgrims from Greece, Russia and Romania.
Famous actor Tom Hanks visited the Orthodox church of the Life-Giving Trinity in Antarctica at the Russian polar station “Bellingshausen” on Waterloo Island, Deacon Maxim Gerb, a cleric of the church in Antarctica, told the journal Foma.
“Many interesting people visit our church, including Tom Hanks who was recently sailing past our island on a yacht. He is a very open and friendly person. After he lit some candles I suggested to him to climb up to the bell tower, so I could attest that Forrest Gump was in Antarctica and can now ring bells pretty well,” commented Deacon Maxim on the actor’s visit, in his account of the life of the Orthodox community in Antarctica.